How I Build Geoprocessing Tools: #2 Building Blocks
In this continuing series of posts I will document the steps I go though when creating a custom GIS and CAD translation or interoperability tool. One of the key benefits of GIS and CAD translation and interoperability performed in ArcGIS, is the foundational technology provided in the ArcGIS geoprocessing environment. ArcGIS geoprocessing technology provides many useful system tools that allow you to build customs tools that you can in turn use to build more tools in the same way. There are different entry points for creating tools that include; Modelbuilder which allows you to place bubbles of data and tools and connect them together to creating a functioning workflow model, scritping language access, command-line, direct dialog box access and connections to more advanced programming interfaces.
Borrowing and re-using technology and customizing if for our purposes is at the heart of the design of the geoprocessing environment. There is no reason to re-invent the wheel. The more you know about the tools you have and how to use them, the more and better things you can build.
Therefore, we can get started by hearing more about geoprocessing directly from the source. There is a video presentation of geoprocessing available on the ESRI/EDN website that should do nicely to describe in general terms the environment we will be creating our MOVE tool in. The clip will outline some of the choices we have to build a tool, how it will perform and how we can document and distribute our tool once it is finished. The clip already exists so I don't have to re-invent it, we can just use it.
Next post well define our MOVE tool's requirements.